A trip to Calcutta is often not easy, indeed Calcutta is a city with a bad reputation. Yet if you visit this city you will quickly understand that it has more to offer than the mother organization Theresa and has hidden gems in the Lonely Planet. In addition it is a city that has a very special atmosphere that often pleases the French.
How to get to Calcutta in India?
There are several options for you to reach Calcutta, the most common will probably be the plane and the train but the bus is also worth mentioning.
The Howrah station
The train station is a famous place in Calcutta, the famous Howrah resort. There are obviously several train stations in the city but it is by Howrah that you are most likely to arrive. This station takes its name from this famous bridge that borders the station. Be careful because Howrah is really a huge train station and there are people everywhere; do not be impressed by the crowd and just leave the station where the population pressure is less important.
Tip for a cheap guesthouse in Calcutta
If you want to travel to Calcutta on a budget, here is the best tip of this guide, sleep either at guest house or Service Apartments Kolkata. The guesthouse is simply a dream for any self-respecting traveler, the price is ridiculous, the atmosphere very friendly and it’s still a little mess.
If you look on a map, you will see that the guesthouse is far from everything. Its advantage is that you are off the beaten track and have easy access to the metro. You just have to take a tuktuk (fixed price) that makes the round trip between the main road just next to the guesthouse and the metro station and you have the whole city at your fingertips. In addition to the subway impossible to get ripped off, the price is fixed. So you have:
- A cheap guesthouse with a very friendly atmosphere
- Access to the city for three times nothing (well, much cheaper than using private transport)
- A neighborhood off the beaten track with “real” Calcutta
What to do in Calcutta?
You will be able to make many visits in Calcutta and in its periphery. Know that it is imperative to visit the inevitable Calcutta because they are really beautiful (special mention for the Victoria Memorial). It is also imperative to really immerse yourself in the city off the tourist routes and why not visit the Sunderbans, the largest mangrove in the world. Before starting from wherever city you are from, make a sketch of your tentative hotel or Service Apartment in Kolkata addresses before srating roaming around the City of Joy.
Visit the essentials
There are several must-sees in Calcutta:
Victoria Memorial – Beautiful, do not miss it
Saint Paul Cathedral – Nice to visit, but do not expect much
The Howrah Bridge – A gigantic bridge that should be crossed on foot, be careful the photos are forbidden
Marble Palace – Really very nice but complicated enough to get in, if you do not have the pass you can always bribe the guardian
Tagore House – Very interesting from an art and quotes point of view, to pair with the Marble Palace